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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Athena Illuz

20 wonderful things to do in NYC this week

Jennifer P

Mon 3

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Dixon Place; 7:30pm; suggested donation $10
Circus folk and other vaudevillian performers sign up for this monthly show to demonstrate new tricks and work-in-progress acts. Past participants have included the Heavy Metal Magician, trained rats, jugglers and sexy clowns. 

International African Arts Festival Commodore Barry Park; 10am; $5, $2 children
While this four-day festival started as a small community fund-raiser, it now attracts a crowd of 75,000 from around the world. This year’s lineup is as jam-packed as ever: Catch music by Fred Wesley and Tito Puente Jr.; a Symposium on Culture, Community and Struggle on Sat 1; an African Dance festival; and special events including a barber competition, parade and fashion show. 

Seinfeld Trivia McGarry’s; 7pm; free
Mutton! Toxic envelopes! Black-and-white cookies! Rejoice with fans at this trivia showdown, at which you and a team of four buddies (or bizarros) can prove how many times you’ve watched the 180-episode show about nothing. You must dominate five rounds of trivia to prove you’re the master of your domain. Better consult your Svengali or start watching reruns now (as if you ever stopped). 

Baile De Favela – Micareta Carnaval Summer Party Le Poisson Rouge; 10pm; $12
Slip on a mask, nibble on coxinhas and bonbons, sip on catuaba and dance the night away at this Brazilian Carnaval party featuring performances from Tony Mola, Gustavo Di Dalva, Davi Vieira, Nadine Coehlo, Ronaldo Andrade and more.

In-House Tattoo Artist Series W Hotel; various times and prices
Choosing the proper artist is arguably the most important step when getting some new ink. W hotels is giving New Yorkers the opportunity to snag a spot with some of the world’s leading artists, without the usual wait lists. Be sure to book online to get your immortal tattoo. 

Tue 4

Midsummer Night Swing: David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band Damrosch Park; 6pm; $17, $25
Lovers of jazz music, unite! on July 4, Lincoln Center’s alfresco danceathon taps into the music of Louis Armstrong when David Ostwald's Eterniry Band delivers hits by the American trumpeter. Show off your fancy footwork, or if you’re worried you’re not ready to bring it, come early and take a free dance class to learn the dips and spins. 

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Nathan’s Famous; 10am; free
What’s more of an American celebration than overeating? Overeating hot dogs. For sport. On friggin’ TV. The world’s best-known competitive snack-down, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, is back at Coney Island. Thousands gather to watch as the most talented gluttons prove just how many of America’s finest delicacy they can swallow (and keep down) in 10 minutes. 

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks at various locations; 9:25pm; free
For this mother of all pyrotechnic displays, Macy's will explode more than 60,000 fireworks choreographed to a 25-minute patriotic score over the East River. Stake out a nice spot near the Brooklyn Bridge, and bring your own picnic basket with beverages to toast our country's birthday. 

Get Summered at Riis Park Beach Jacob Riis Park Beach; 8pm; free
The folks behind Brooklyn Night Bazaar are back at the people’s beach, a.k.a. Jacob Riis Park, with their annual summer-long market and concert series. The historic boardwalk is filled with tasty outposts of food vendors like Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Ed & Bev’s diner and Ample Hills Creamery, while the beach is your place for sunbathing, ocean frolicking and live music. For the special Fourth of July Get Summered edition, Dirtyboogie, Love Taps and Josai deejay, with live music from BlindSpot and Ratta.

July 4th: Summer of Love Onderdonk House; 1pm; Free with R.S.V.P. $10
Serve red-white-and-blue realness at this miniature Burning Man–style daytime bash, as NYC nightlife legend Eli Escobar presides for a wild day of dancing. Check out interactive art installations, visit a face-painting station, shop at an artisan market by Mama’s Bazaar and Temple Ro, grab eats from local food trucks like Van Leeuwen and more. Regardless of whether you’re heading to Black Rock City come August, don’t miss out on this celebration of free love.

July 4th Party at LIC Flea and Food; 2pm; free
This open-air bazaar in Queens normally hawks its wide array of retro wares and antiques as well as finger-licking–delicious eats on the weekend, but in honor of Independence Day, the flea invites you to come out and party on Tuesday, July 4. Partake in some day-drinking at the all-Queens Beer and Wine Garden, serving brews from spots like SingleCut Beersmiths and Queens Brewery. (The suds come in handy when you need to wash down Butcher Bar’s wood-smoked BBQ.) Best of all, you’ll have a killer view of the Macy's firework display! 

Wed 5

Hudson RiverFlicks: Free Movies in Hudson River Park, Pier 63; 8:30pm; free
This summer catch some movies under the stars with Hudson RiverFlicks, free evening films at some of Hudson River Park’s many piers. Big Hit Wednesdays will show blockbuster films from the past year; Family Fridays returns with recent favorites as well as classic movies for the whole family; and Sing Along Specials in Clinton Cove celebrate musical movies. Check out the entire lineup and pier location here.

Mindfulness Meditation at the Rubin Museum; 1pm; $15
New York Times best-selling author and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg and other esteemed practitioners of mindfulness meditation lead beginners and long-time meditators in midday sessions designed to expand your consciousness—during your lunch break. Inspired by art from the Rubin Museum, each event includes an opening talk, a sitting meditation and a closing discussion.

Accordion Picnics Bryant Park; 6pm; free
Every Wednesday, Bryant Park welcomes masters of the accordion to show off their best on the lawn. Check out sets from father-daughter duo Lena and Charlie Giordano, Brazilian bluegrass performer Rob Curto and more. 

OLMC Feast Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church; various times; free
Every summer, feast-goers celebrate the heritage of Williamsburg’s Nolani Italian community with this joyous fest, which includes food stalls, carnival games, and performances from local bands. Plus, you can count on hunky Italian men carrying a flower-laden wooden tower down the street. Subtle.

Live Country Music Wednesdays Johnny Utah’s; 7pm; free
Get down at an old-school honky-tonk at Johnny Utah’s every Wednesday night, featuring covers and new music from the charming country performer Ben O’Connor. To make the night more interesting, try your hand at the riveting mechanical bull or order dangerous drinks like the Dixie Tea or Texas Mule. Be sure to sample the bar’s beloved baby back ribs.

Thu 6  

The Moth StorySLAM The Bell House; 8pm; $10
Everyone in NYC has a story to tell, but how many of us can hop onstage and share it with a room full of strangers (without even asking for money)? Think of a tale you’d like to unload, then head to this storytelling throwdown, at which volunteers are drawn at random to share five-minute pieces.  

Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s, Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College; 7:30pm; $25–$65, students, seniors $15, Hunter students, faculty $10
This July at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse, join the Martina Arroyo Foundation as they present Bizet's Carmen and Puccini's Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi for a night of opera both traditionally staged and costumed and complete with an orchestra and chorus.  

Broadway in Bryant Park; 12:30pm; free
LiteFM radio hosts a showcase of actors from the hottest on and off Broadway shows playing their hits in Bryant park. Try not to sing and dance along to tunes from classics like Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and Avenue Q, as well as newcomers like Kinky Boots, Waitress, and Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. The recurring event will take place every Thursday from July 6 through August 10th. 

River & Blues Fest Battery Park; 7pm; free
Nothings says summer like an open air concert series. Spend your July Thursday evenings jamming out to some rhythm & blues will relaxing in the grass of Battery City Park. Each of the four Thursdays from the 6 to the 27 will include a unique blues band or artist.


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